My boss gave me a piece of paper with this quote printed on it. “If you need any resources just let me know,” she said. I put it in a drawer because it didn’t apply to me. “I’m fine,” I keep telling myself. “It could be worse.”
I feel like I haven’t allowed myself to be sad because sad, for me, is scary. Sad is a big dark hole that takes years to come out of. But it seems that sad will have its moment whether or not I want to cooperate.
The truth is that quote up there applies more than I thought. All of my life I’ve had a basic assumption: “I’m safe.” For a homebody like me, safety was everything, not just in a physical way but in an emotional one. I’m an introvert, and having a space where I feel comfortable and safe and like I don’t have to be “on” is extremely important to me. Those closest to me know how much I loved my home and being in it, not in any particular material way, but because it was comforting to me. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that it’s gone, not just the things I owned and the decor I chose but the space where I was happiest.
All my assumptions of safety have been shattered. I feel unmoored, anxious, and upset. I feel isolated and frustrated because, in spite of the fact that I know better, I still feel like I’m not allowed to feel like this. I’m not only hurting, I’m angry at myself for hurting and for not being over it and having my priorities in the right place. I’m angry at myself for not being a better friend and family member and wife and creator. I’m holding myself to standards of recovery I would never expect from the people I love, which I know isn’t fair but I can’t stop feeling anyway.
I just keep feeling like I want to go home. I’m not sure when that’s going to pass.
I felt the need to write this to get it off my chest but also to share with anyone who’s grieving or recovering that it’s not easy and it doesn’t follow a timeline. I see you and I understand. It’s so important to remember that the surface people present is never the whole story, and even though you might feel like everyone is coping better than you are it’s just not the case. Sometimes the only way to cope is to keep slogging forward even when you’d rather go to bed for a month — “fake it till you make it,” if you will. Handling things that way doesn’t make you dishonest or ingenuine. It makes you human.
There’s not really a wrap-up for this post. Much like recovery, it doesn’t follow a pattern or structure. It just is. And it will end.